The former Hartlepool United manager Neale Cooper has died at the age of 54.

The Scot, who led Pools in two separate spells and enjoyed great success as a midfielder for Sir Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen, was in a critical condition after being found in the stairwell of flats in the Bucksburn area of Aberdeen. Cooper had been taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary before it was later announced that he had passed away.

Also a former Rangers and Aston Villa player, Cooper is well remembered at Hartlepool for his time at the helm in League One, as Pools reached the play-offs in 2004 and did so again in 2005, though Cooper stepped down near the end of the latter campaign.

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